The Oral Health Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco
April is recognized as Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and while many people know the risks associated with smoking tobacco, the team at our dental office in Lawrenceville want to make sure our patients and neighbors know that just because smokeless tobacco is, well, smokeless, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own fair share of risks.
The most serious concern associated with smokeless tobacco use is oral cancer. Oral cancer is a serious disease that affects the lives of nearly 50,000 newly diagnosed people every year. If not caught early, oral cancer can lead to death. While anyone can get oral cancer, tobacco use (of any kind) is the top risk factor for developing the disease.
Know the Signs
- Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
- Changes in voice
- A white, scaly patch on the inside of the cheek or lip
- A lump inside the mouth or neck
If you notice any of the signs above, contact your dentist in Lawrenceville to schedule an appointment as soon as you can.
Chewing tobacco can also cause gums to recede, mostly because the tobacco (and everything else found in it) is left on the gums for prolonged periods of time which irritates the tissues. Once gums have receded, the tooth roots become exposed, and that’s when the problems start. Without the protection of the gums, the roots are at increased risk for sustaining damage from foods, drinks, and more tobacco. Not only does this make cavities more likely, it also tends to lead to tooth sensitivity, which can be pretty painful.
Thanks to the ingredients found in all forms of tobacco, specifically tar and nicotine, tobacco users tend to suffer from a yellow smile. The good news is this discoloration can be reversed through a professional smile whitening or cosmetic dentistry treatment like veneers. But if a patient continues to use tobacco after treatment, the teeth can be easily stained again.
Regular visits to the dentist are important for everyone, but especially for tobacco users, smokeless or not. If you’re looking for a dentist, we welcome you to call our Lawrenceville dental office to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help keep our patients healthy and we’re always happy to see new patients. Give us a call today.
Welcoming new patients from Lawrenceville, Duluth, Suwanee and beyond.
This Thanksgiving, we want to switch it up a bit and challenge all of our patients to think outside of the box when sharing their thanks with friends and family around the dinner table. Everyone gives thanks for friends, family, overall health, and perhaps love. And rightfully so. But at our dental office in Lawrenceville … Continue reading “Be Thankful for a Healthy Mouth”Read more >>
Nobody enjoys the threat of the flu lurking everywhere this time of year. But with the right precautions you can protect yourself and your family and reduce your risk of contracting the flu. Our dental office in Lawrenceville has put together a guide to help you avoid the flu and keep you healthy all year … Continue reading “Top 7 Ways to Protect Yourself This Flu Season”Read more >>
Root canals have an unnecessarily bad reputation of being painful, which causes many people to be afraid of the treatment. However, the team at our dental office in Lawrenceville wants to ease any concerns you may have about root canals and hopefully relieve any apprehension. Do Root Canals Hurt? There’s been a lot of talk … Continue reading “Are Root Canals as Scary as they Sound?”Read more >>
October isn’t only when we celebrate Halloween, it’s also National Orthodontic Month. With this in mind, the team at our dental office in Lawrenceville thought it’d be a great time to combine the two and talk a bit about which Halloween treats are safe for those with braces. Don’t worry, if you do have braces, … Continue reading “Top 7 Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats”Read more >>